Creek Internationalism in an Age of Revolution, 1763–1818


Creek Internationalism in an Age of Revolution, 1763–1818

James L. Hill

Borderlands and Transcultural Studies Series

324 pages
6 illustrations, 4 maps, 2 tables, index


July 2022


$65.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
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July 2022


$65.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
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July 2022


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About the Book

Creek Internationalism in an Age of Revolution, 1763–1818 examines how Creek communities and their leaders remained viable geopolitical actors in the trans-Appalachian West well after the American Revolution. The Creeks pursued aggressive and far-reaching diplomacy between 1763 and 1818 to assert their territorial and political sovereignty while thwarting American efforts to establish control over the region. The United States and the Creeks fought to secure recognition from the powers of Europe that would guarantee political and territorial sovereignty: the Creeks fought to maintain their connections to the Atlantic world and preserve their central role in the geopolitics of the trans-Appalachian West, while the American colonies sought first to establish themselves as an independent nation, then to expand borders to secure diplomatic and commercial rights.
Creeks continued to forge useful ties with agents of European empires despite American attempts to circumscribe Creek contact with the outside world. The Creeks’ solicitation of trade and diplomatic channels with British and Spanish colonists in the West Indies, Canada, and various Gulf Coast outposts served key functions for defenders of local autonomy. Native peoples fought to preserve the geopolitical order that dominated the colonial era, making the trans-Appalachian West a kaleidoscope of sovereign peoples where negotiation prevailed. As a result, the United States lacked the ability to impose its will on its Indigenous neighbors, much like the European empires that had preceded them. Hill provides a significant revisionist history of Creek diplomacy and power that fills gaps within the broader study of the Atlantic world and early American history to show how Indigenous power thwarted European empires in North America.


Author Bio

James L. Hill is a visiting assistant professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh.


"Hill absolutely succeeds with Creek Internationalism in an Age of Revolution. . . . Adding needed complexity to Creek politics across the turn of the nineteenth century."—Kevin Kokomoor, Journal of Southern History

"Creek Internationalism in an Age of Revolution provides an excellent survey of Muscogee history during the titular period of 1763–1818. Even readers unfamiliar with these histories will be able to follow the narrative with ease. . . . Each chapter effectively reintroduces the major themes of the monograph, meaning that the book also has great value if assigned in parts or as a whole to undergraduate and graduate classes. . . . This book should become standard reading for Native American and Indigenous studies scholars researching the Native South or for those interested in debates over local autonomy versus nationalism."—Christopher A. Thrasher, H-AmIndian

"Hill has crafted a meticulous narrative that reflects how individual talwas and talofas have and likely continue to shape Muscogee history."—Bryan Rindfleisch, H-Early-America

“Hill’s fascinating and insightful Creek Internationalism in an Age of Revolution, 1763–1818 shows us once again that the Creeks and Seminoles were important (and quite clever) players in the Atlantic World.”—Christopher D. Haveman, editor of Bending Their Way Onward: Creek Indian Removal in Documents

“A fascinating and important work on the internationalism of the Creek and Seminole/Miccosukee Indians during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It is impressive in detail, deeply researched, and recasts our understanding of Indigenous space and diplomacy in important ways.”—Andrew K. Frank, author of Creeks and Southerners: Biculturalism on the Early American Frontier

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Notes on Terminology
1. “Bring Them What They Lack”: Spanish-Creek Exchange and Alliance Making along Florida’s Gulf Coast, 1763–83
2. “Victorious over the Americans in Every Quarter”: Creek Alliances Confronting the American Republic, 1784–88
3. A Voyage “Ill Advised”: A Transatlantic Journey, 1787–91
4. “Come to Populate These Lands”: Competing Political and Diplomatic Visions, 1790–1800
5. “The Voice of the Creeks”: “Prophets’ Men,” Intra- and Inter-talwa Tensions, and Civil War, 1799–1814
6. “Driven to the Desert Lands of the Sea”: The Long Creek War and Diplomacy’s Failure, 1814–18

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